Summer means more tourists, more traffic, and the Maine State Police working to keep roads safe with 'Drive Sober' checkpoints.

It's been a deadly summer so far, with eight deaths on Maine roads during the course of just one week, and more than 55 traffic-related deaths so far this year. Last year, 159 people were killed in traffic-related accidents, which was the highest since 2007. So the State Police are doing what they can to discourage impaired driving and make our highways safer.

You never know when or where these checkpoints are going to pop up, so it's best to just use your head and avoid drinking and driving. (which is the best advice, of course, even when the police aren't conducting checkpoints) It will keep you safe and avoid a large fine and possible jail time. A checkpoint in Hermon recently netted 4 arrests for Operating Under the Influence, and 2 drug arrests.

A first OUI offense could carry a maximum jail sentence of up to 364 days and up to $2,000 in fines. It does carry the following mandatory minimum penalties:

  • A mandatory minimum fine of $500 and a 150 day loss of license
  • A conditional license for a year after that plus driver's education
  • If you test .15 or above, were exceeding the speed limit by 30 miles per hour or more, eluded or attempted to elude a police officer, or operated with a passenger under 21 years of age, a mandatory minimum sentence of 48 hours in jail
  • If you refuse to submit to a chemical test, a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 96 hours and a mandatory minimum fine of $600